Monday, October 26, 2015

Monsterland and a surprise guest!

I am thrilled today to share with you a wonderful new book which arrived on my doorstep two weeks ago and which I can't wait to tell you about.  In addition, I had the great opportunity to connect with the author,  Michael Phillip Cash, and ask him a few questions.  With Halloween quickly approaching, hope you enjoy!

TITLE: Monsterland
AUTHOR: Michael Phillip Cash
PUBLISHER: Create Space/Red Feather Publishing

FROM GOODREADS: Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?

This book showed up on my doorstep last week which was great for two reasons. One, it was unsolicited and I had no clue it was coming so "Surprise!" and two, because I had seen it on several blogs and had just added it to my wishlist. I immediately couldn't wait to get to it and picked it up several days later, totally unplanned. In the course of two days, I had finished this book and not only was it perfect for the Halloween season, it has found its way to one of my top 10, perhaps even 5, reads of the year.

Mosterland tells the story of a new theme park that is showing up all over the world. They are all debuting on the same day, and the owner and creator, Vincent Conrad, is being touted as a new world savior. Basically werewolves, vampires and zombies have all been "outed" and instead of keeping them in containment camps, he has created a theme park so they have a safe place to stay, and so society can interact with them in some manner.

I really liked Monsterland's story. A group of kids, including the main character Wyatt, get tickets to the grand opening and all sorts of action and chaos ensue. Wyatt and his friends are a wonderful additional to the story. They could be called the misfits of their high school, but they basically kind of reminded me of the gang of kids from King's Stand By Me except older. And instead of "Do you wanna see a dead body?" it's more like "Wanna see a real monster?"

I can't urge anyone who likes action, thrillers or horror novels enough to pick this book up and give it a chance. I will definitely be seeking out more books by Cash and can only imagine what awaits me between the pages.


Introducing Michael Phillip Cash!

Born and raised on Long Island, Michael has always had a fascination with horror writing and found footage films. He wanted to incorporate both with his debut novel, Brood X. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.

1.  Monsterland features all of the major monsters and even some the reader doesn't suspect at first.  I was wondering, what is your favorite monster and why?

That is the question I pose in Monsterland - who will win, werewolves, vampires or zombies.  I love all different types of monsters, I must say werewolves are my favorite.  The raw power of a werewolf is undeniable.  But in the end, you will have to find out who wins.

2.  Since Halloween is quickly approaching, do you have any favorite scary/horror stories to recommend?

I love the idea that a monster can be real.  That's how I write my books, with a sense of  'can this really happen?'  I'm a sucker for classic monster stories but if I had one (or two) to choose it would be the original 'A Nightmare on Elm Street.'  That film is absolutely brilliant.  Same with 'Dawn of the Dead.'  Take the scariest monster possible.  Lock the protagonist in their dreams of a mall, and watch the destruction occur.  Great storytelling. 

3.  When I was reading Monsterland, I felt like there was a hidden commentary on who/what the world really considers as monsters and how society has a history of treating things they don't understand badly. Was this intentional or am I reading too much into it?

You nailed it!  That's exactly what I was trying to convey.  There was a great schism in the book, people wanting the monsters locked up and others who wanted to be politically correct about them.  I actually make a joke in the book when someone calls the zombies "vitality challenged.'  Vincent Conrad calls them zombies.  Turns out, both parties are wrong.  You have to read to find out what the political motives were really all about.

4.  While I enjoyed many of your characters in Monsterland, and felt an immediate connection with Wyatt, I really loved Keisha.  She was so full of attitude and you have to like a girl who falls for a nerd.  Did you have a favorite character to write?

I couldn't agree with you more.  Wyatt and Keisha were both very strong protagonists who have to learn to fend for themselves.  I LOVED writing about Vincent Conrad.  This may sound strange but he was telling me what to say as I was writing.  He's like PT Barnum and Donald Trump's love child.  He has the public eating out of the palm of his hand, but something is deeper than meets the eye.  He's a showman, a politician who desires one thing and one thing only.  This was so much fun to create.

5.  As you can see, my blog often features Booker T the Boxer, my review partner and sidekick so this question is Booker T's:  Do you have any pets now or did you have any growing up?  Do they help with your writing process?  Are they spoiled like me and my brother Cassius?

LOL.  I love(d) pets.  I had three amazing dogs growing up.  Alvin, but he was hit by a car.  Tessie, she passed away at 8 years old.  And Sophie, who passed away at 6 years old.  You know, growing up I had crippling asthma.  I just couldn't catch my breath, day in and day out.  The day Sophie (my last dog) passed away, I haven't taken my asthma spray since.  Took an allergy test years ago to find out I am highly allergic to all animals.  So no, at this point in my life I do not have any pets.  I have kids.  Who act like pets.  They eat all day, want to play with me all the time, and live riding in my truck with the windows down.  I'm not allergic to my kids.

Thanks for stopping by Michael and everyone else, go pick up Monsterland!



  1. I have my copy sitting on my shelf and ready to read. I'm pretty excited about this one and plan to read the interview in full after I read the book! Glad you liked it!

  2. I had some review books this week to hurry through but this one is next on my list, might not make it this month but I am a horror fan all year round so I will be thankful for my horror books in :)

    1. When does it start getting interesting cause I am about 27% in and it's kind of boring. :( Guess I need to get to the park for all the good stuff. :)

    2. It does pick up once they enter the theme park. I didn't mind the beginning but I can see where some would find it slow.